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Guitar Center Replaces Instruments Stolen in Santa Monica Music Center Robbery

Instruments replaced after store’s third recent robbery

By Dolores Quintana

Guitar Center has replaced the instruments stolen in the robbery of Santa Monica Music Center, the family store co-owned by Santa Monica City Councilmember Lana Negrete. 

Santa Monica Music Center has been robbed twice in 2021, most recently on November 23, and three times over the course of the pandemic. The instruments that were stolen and damaged during that robbery were to be used by Councilmember Negrete’s non-profit after-school program called Outreach Through The Arts. OTTA provides music lessons and instruments to underserved youth, so even if they can’t afford their own instruments, they can still learn to play and be on the road to achieving their musical dreams. 

OTTA is the recipient of a Guitar Center Music Foundation grant and on December 2 they provided the program with the guitars that were lost during the break-in. Guitar Center immediately wanted to help once they heard about the robbery. 

“Santa Monica Music Center has an incredible after-school music program, Outreach Through the Arts, for kids and was chosen as a Guitar Center Music Foundation (GCMF) grant recipient a while ago. When GCMF heard about the break-in and the stolen instruments, they wanted to support Santa Monica Music Center’s program and replace the instruments immediately. All stolen and damaged items were replaced, including two electric guitars and one bass. Myka Miller, GCMF’s executive director, personally dropped off the instruments and met with Councilmember Negrete and Outreach Through the Arts students to learn more about their program,” Guitar Center said. 

After being robbed twice in one year, with both robberies occurring within two months of each other, the Santa Monica Music Center must be relieved to have received this assistance that will ensure that children will continue to learn and grow as musicians. 

Myka Miller, executive director of Guitar Center Music Foundation, spoke about why the GCMF was intent on replacing these instruments for OTTA, Councilmember Negrete’s passion project. 

“Santa Monica Music Center is an important part of the Santa Monica music community, and Guitar Center Music Foundation is thrilled to support their work with this donation,” Miller told the Santa Monica Mirror. “We hope these instruments give their after-school music students the confidence to grow their skills and encourages them to find joy in making music.”

“Today was made magical by this,” Santa Monica Music Center wrote in a social media post on December 2, following the donation. “Once they heard the tragic news they didn’t skip a beat! Myka came and proved to us once again that community partnerships and kindness prevail!”

GCMF’s mission is to support music education programs. The organization aims to keep music education alive and available in our nation’s schools and communities. Founded in 2005, this public charity has reached over 300,000 people through its grants of instruments to music education programs. 

“The Guitar Center Music Foundation believes that music participation is an essential element in the fabric of an enduring society,” reads their website.

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